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  • Author: Colin Robertson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of August, the leaders of the major western democracies will meet in their 45th summit. They will discuss global geopolitical and socioeconomic issues in Biarritz, a seaside resort in Basque country on the Atlantic coast, made famous in the 19th century as the summer playground of Europe’s elite. As the host, French President Emmanuel Macron is focusing on inequality: be it income, gender, education, healthcare or access to drinking water. But can M. Macron bring his fellow leaders into consensus given their diverging perspectives on diverse issues including gender, work, climate, energy, protectionism, populism and extremism? What will be the chemistry between the disparate leaders, including the new member of the group, Boris Johnson? And how will these heads of state manage Donald Trump? Will there be a communiqué? As Justin Trudeau will ruefully recall, the US president upended last year’s Charlevoix summit revoking the US agreement to the communiqué while en route to meet Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. There will be various measures of success in Biarritz, but it will be important for leaders to say something and do something on Hong Kong. Keeping the spotlight on this international city will be important to restrain China from rash action. As the principal guardians of international covenants, the G7 leaders have an obligation to Hong Kong. It will also be important for the leaders to make some sort of statement on trade measures. If we are moving into an economic decoupling with China, then it will be vital that the G7 hangs together. A recession will only incite more populism and aggravate the inequalities that are the focus at Biarritz.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Inequality, Multilateralism, Trade, G7
  • Political Geography: Canada, France